RESILIENCE.

I have a thing for strong people. I do.

I am attracted to them, not in a sexual sense, but in a psychological way, if I may be so bold. Strength in this scenario has nothing to do with physical might and prowess. I am talking about mental strength. I am talking about psychological durability. I am talking about people who seem to overcome tough situations, people who are reborn out of their own ashes after being consumed by a metaphorical fire, like the phoenix in Egyptian mythology. I am talking about people who always seem to get up when they are down in the mud. Some people are like that; they get up, always, without ever missing a beat. How do they do that? No one likes the taste of mud in their mouth but sometimes it seems like getting up and facing the same issues, might be too tough.

People who overcome tough situations fascinate me. I have come to accept I love resilient people. One might think I look down on people who aren’t resilient; I don’t. I simply find resilient people captivating. Truth be told, I am always on the prowl for a good story about resilience, always. I will watch any documentary, movie, or read any article or book that talks about resilience.

I will try to learn as much as I can about their mindset, their routine, their train of thought, their attitude and sometimes even their diet and exercise routine. One couldn’t go on living in this three-dimensional world without learning from others. There is no shame in emulating others or learning from others! Please do not be like those self-important people who believe they know everything! No one does. There is always something new to learn everyday, from others! That is a fact!

Perhaps I relate to resilient people because I am resilient myself. I don’t have an Olympic type of resilience, but I could compete in local resilience games, let’s say. Moreover, when I read those stories about resilient people, I am always reminded they weren’t born that way because there is no gene for resilience. Science hasn’t discovered any so there is only one conclusion left; PEOPLE BECOME RESILIENT.

They acquire resilience not by buying it-because there is no store for that- but by going through trials and tribulations, sweat and tears, defeats and failures. Resilient people know a few things about failure, that is a certainty.

For the sake of this case, let’s review the definition of resilience: the ability to recover from or adjust easily to misfortune or change.

Voilà! Being resilient is being adaptable. It is about being able to evolve, change and adopt new ways of thinking, being and doing. Resilience is no small feat. As a matter of fact, that would be the first quality I’d look for in a candidate for a job. I already look for it with my friends, my partner (thank God she is as resilient as they come) and people I hang out with regularly.

I believe when you are raised in an environment where resilience is an integral part of everyday life, you are very likely to become resilient yourself. The more you see something, the more you will end up adopting it. My parents are the epitome of resilience. I don’t want to bore you with everything they have faced in their lives. I don’t know how but they have always found a way to carry on. They aren’t made of steel; they are as human as anybody. They have gone through deprivation, they were humiliated, they were laughed at and disrespected yet, they still stand, and they do so with a smile. My older brother is the same way; he finds ways to get over things and even thrive despite the odds being stacked against him.

Resilient people have this insatiable, almost lunatic way of thinking. They fundamentally believe things will get better. They swim in a pool of optimistic waters. Resilient people are highly adaptable but mostly, they don’t give up easily. They always find a way to beat whatever is beating them, to jump over whatever hurdle life has put in their way.

 

Let’s make one thing clear: resilience is a long process, one that doesn’t come easy, one that hurts. Resilience will not fall from the sky. IT IS ACQUIRED.  They say the great Lionel Messi has this belief that he will succeed, and he does, quite often. Yet, when he doesn’t, the feeling of defeat doesn’t weigh on him for long. He shakes it off and moves on. Michael Jordan is resilient as well, to an almost psychopathic level. He would watch film of a loss to know what went wrong as to not repeat the same mistakes.

That is resilience. Things went bad, ok. That is sad, it hurts, and we feel down. Ok, let’s mourn our defeat, loss, trial, tribulation, whatever you want to call it. Mourning is done? Great! Now, what can we do to make sure it doesn’t happen again? What did we learn? If it happens again, what do we do to avoid the same result? Ok. Now, we have a plan. Next time, things will be better. We profoundly believe things will be better next time, we are optimistic! THAT IS FUCKING RESILIENCE!!! Once acquired, it is the kind of quality no one can take away from you.

You might find yourself being admired, being respected more because you are resilient. People do admire those who have gone through hell and back. Please understand, you do not have to go looking for trouble. I can assure you trouble and harsh times will find you, do not worry. As masochistic as it sounds, your trials and tribulations might very well strengthen your resilience muscles and one day, you will be thankful for the troubles and tribulations.

Resilience doesn’t come easy. There is a price; you got to go through suffering and pain to become resilient. If you are always avoiding trouble, you will be in a bad place when trouble finds you. If you can face your fears and troubles and you might just become resilient. Finally, remember, you must become resilient for your own sake, no one else’s. Resilience is acquired by you and for you. Please do share your knowledge but remember that becoming resilient is a selfish exercise. It is supposed to help you first and foremost and then, if you care enough and hopefully you do, please help others.

Is there a better feeling than beating the odds or seeing a problem and laugh it off because you know what to do? I think not. Resilience teaches you patience and you can find out what you are made of, which is always interesting. You can find out your limits, strengths and weaknesses.

I believe resilience to be a strength and a muscle. Resilience is about optimism and adapting. Learn how to be resilient. Well, don’t worry, life will teach you because life always brings trouble, somehow. Something tells you will be fine.

Just one man’s opinion.

Now smile and go on with your day.

Freeman. B

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